Celebrating the power of Street Art: London Mural Festival returns in 2024

At The Buzz, we understand the power of placemaking in transforming public spaces into dynamic, engaging environments. From our perspective, commercial real estate isn’t just about selling and managing properties; it’s about creating experiences that resonate with people, foster community spirit, and contribute to urban regeneration. We want our spaces to create vibrant, memorable experiences that bring people together, spark creativity and breathe life into our surroundings. 

This month, we’re delighted to spotlight the UK’s leading hand painted mural company, Global Street Art, the producers of London Mural Festival, which will be taking over London this September for its second edition. The festival promises to be one of the world’s biggest celebrations of street art, bringing together hundreds of international artists to paint permanent murals across London’s diverse neighbourhoods. 

The inaugural London Mural Festival in 2020 made a big splash (featuring on BBC News and Lorraine), with over 200 artists from around the world painting 75 different sites across 13 London boroughs. From Wembley to Walthamstow, these stunning murals not only added vibrancy to the cityscape but also provided artists with valuable opportunities to showcase their talents on a public platform. Four years later, 90% of these murals are still intact and continue to captivate passers-by and contribute to London’s rich tapestry of street art. 

We caught up with Global Street Art’s Commissioned Public Art Lead, Louise Hervouet to find out more… 

What inspired the inception of London Mural Festival? 

At the heart of Global Street Art is our aim to support and create opportunities for artists and increase the amount of public art in cities. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities for artists were dwindling and so our founder and CEO Lee Bofkin decided it was the right time to launch London Mural Festival. The festival brings top street artists from the UK and around the world here to London to paint, turning the city into an open-air gallery which is free for everyone to enjoy. 

Supermundane – Westfield – London Mural Festival 2020

Can you share some insights into the significance of street art in urban environments, particularly in cities like London? 

Street art is by its nature in the urban, built environment, and is a special art form for that reason because it becomes a part of the community and environment it lives within. London has such a rich history of street art and street culture, and we’re proud to be contributing to that evolving scene through the work of Global Street Art and London Mural Festival. Many of our sites around central London transform what can be quite stark, corporate environments into memorable moments of colour and creativity that drive footfall just to see it. Murals can bring a real sense of pride and creativity to London’s streets, and rewrite the story of an area. Take Banksy’s latest tree mural in Finsbury Park! 

As with the 2020 edition, our intention is that the walls that are newly sourced for the festival will remain as art that lasts for many years to come. At this point, our track record speaks for itself, and we’re incredibly proud that 90% of the original murals remain in place today. 

What can attendees expect from the upcoming festival? 

London Mural Festival 2024 promises to be bigger and bolder than ever, coming to the capital this September. 

One of the world’s biggest celebrations of street art, London Mural Festival 2024 will see over 100 permanent murals gifted free to the public, from some of the best international street artists working today. The festival will bring together thousands of artists, communities and visitors to celebrate London’s diverse people and places. To top it off, we’re planning an incredible programme of live events, from parties and gigs to artist talks, tours and workshops. 

How do you select participating artists for the London Mural Festival, and what criteria do you consider during the selection process? 

In 2020, our open call for artists received over 500 applications. We selected local, national, and international artists, with more than 15 nationalities represented. This year, we have already received over 2,000 artist applications, so the selection process will take some time! It’s important to us that we showcase all genres and styles of street art and show how diverse the artform can be – so we’ll be looking to make sure there is a balance of artists represented, with both emerging artists alongside established names.  

There are a lot of blank walls across London, and we will try to say yes where we can. The number of artists that can participate depends on the number of new walls we are able to source, as well as funding, and our ability to manage so many sites being painted simultaneously. 

Artists can apply via our website. The application is totally free and open to artists at any stage of their career, closing in April 2024. 

Rosie Woods – Zetland House – London Mural Festival 2020

How does Global Street Art collaborate with landlords, sponsors, brands, and other partners to fund and support mural projects? 

Funding remains a crucial aspect of the festival’s sustainability, with London Mural Festival seeking support from various stakeholders, including public bodies, landlords, real estate developers, brands, foundations and individuals. While the ultimate goal is for the festival to become self-sustaining, community support plays a vital role in making this vision a reality. We can partner in a range of ways, whether you’re a landlord or developer with a site you’d like to be painted as part of the festival, or a brand looking to collaborate and reap the benefits of the huge reach the festival can provide. For brands, email partnerships@londonmuralfestival.com – for property owners or managers you can reach out to me directly on louise@globalstreetart.com  

How do you plan to involve the local community? 

Communities are at the heart of what we do; both in our Art For Estates programme and in London Mural Festival. It’s really important to us that communities living and working around the murals are celebrated and we’ll be involving them in a range of ways, from the early consultation and decision stages around a mural, to hosting public events and workshops for all ages to come and enjoy the power of picking up a spray can!  

Tell us a bit about your social responsibility initiative? 

One of the festival’s key initiatives is the “Can for Can” approach; for every can of paint used in a sponsored mural, a can is donated to our community projects. We aim to support at least 15 housing estates across London where we will paint murals for free. This commitment to social responsibility underscores the festival’s ethos of giving back to the communities it serves. 

Anything else you can share with us at this stage? 

We can’t wait to welcome you to this year’s festival! Mark your diaries, and sign up to our mailing list on our website to hear more about London Mural Festival 2024! 

Mur0ne – Grimsby St – London Mural Festival 2020

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